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Beaconhills College is leading the way to sustainability in schools with some major environmental achievements detailed in its newest ‘Green Report’.
Beaconhills is now one of Australia’s largest solar-powered schools, with a massive 530kW of solar panels installed at its Berwick and Pakenham campuses. The College aims to be completely powered by renewable energy by 2021.
Other key initiatives outlined in the Green Report:
• Six worm farms are ploughing through about 300kg of organic waste each week, with plans to add six more farms across the College
• Power-saving strategies such as LED lights, solar power systems and energy-efficient building designs have seen electricity use across the College plunge by 24 per cent since 2013
• The College now has 46 water tanks, holding 700 kilolitres of water in a bid to cut mains water use as the school continues to grow
• Six vegetable gardens and two indigenous food gardens supply fresh seasonal produce for the College’s canteen and catering menus as well as Food Technology classes and local charities
The College launched its Environmental and Sustainability Plan in 2010 with aim of lightening its environmental footprint. Business Manager David Young, the driving force behind the plan, said that encouraging students to be responsible stewards of the environment was one of the Beaconhills College philosophies. He added that it was also important for the school to lead by example.
Sustainability Co-ordinator Jack Donkers hopes people will share the Green Report within other organisations to help promote environmental awareness. He said the College welcomes enquiries on how to introduce simple initiatives to lighten their own organisation’s environmental footprint.
Mr Donkers said while Beaconhills was doing very well compared to other schools with similar student numbers, there was still room for improvement.
“Some areas, like our waste, definitely need improving – particularly reducing our waste that goes to landfill and education about contamination in waste streams,” he said.
“As a College, we want the best future possible for our students. It’s our responsibility to clean up our act so that they can have every opportunity to succeed.”
You can find a copy of the Beaconhills College’s Green Report here
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